Daniel 1:1-21 . THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY BEGINS; DANIEL'S EDUCATION AT BABYLON, &C.
10. worse liking--looking less healthy.
your sort--of your age, or class; literally, "circle."
endanger my head--An arbitrary Oriental despot could, in a fit of wrath at his orders having been disobeyed, command the offender to be instantly decapitated.
11. Melzar--rather, the steward, or chief butler, entrusted by Ashpenaz with furnishing the daily portion to the youths [GESENIUS]. The word is still in use in Persia.
12. pulse--The Hebrew expresses any vegetable grown from seeds, that is, vegetable food in general [GESENIUS].
13-15. Illustrating Deuteronomy 8:3 , "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord."
17. God gave them knowledge--( Exodus 31:2 Exodus 31:3 , 1 Kings 3:12 , Job 32:8 , James 1:5 James 1:17 ).
Daniel had understanding in . . . dreams--God thus made one of the despised covenant-people eclipse the Chaldean sages in the very science on which they most prided themselves. So Joseph in the court of Pharaoh ( Genesis 40:5 , 41:1-8 ). Daniel, in these praises of his own "understanding," speaks not through vanity, but by the direction of God, as one transported "CONTENTS OF THE BOOK."
19. stood . . . before the king--that is, were advanced to a position of favor near the throne.
20. ten times--literally, "ten hands."
magicians--properly, "sacred scribes, skilled in the sacred writings, a class of Egyptian priests" [GESENIUS]; from a Hebrew root, "a pen." The word in our English Version, "magicians," comes from mag, that is, "a priest." The Magi formed one of the six divisions of the Medes.
astrologers--Hebrew, "enchanters," from a root, "to conceal," pactisers of the occult arts.
21. Daniel continued . . . unto . . . first year of Cyrus--( 2 Chronicles 36:22 , Ezra 1:1 ). Not that he did not continue beyond that year, but the expression is designed to mark the fact that he who was one of the first captives taken to Babylon, lived to see the end of the "SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY." In Daniel 10:1 he is mentioned as living "in the third year of Cyrus." See Margin Note, on the use of "till" ( Psalms 110:1 , 112:8 ).